Apple Flax Muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large 3gg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium apples

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).

STEP 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, brown sugar, yogurt, apple sauce, and vanilla). Core and chop the apples into small pieces.

STEP 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Fold in the chopped apples just until they are evenly distributed. Try not to over stir the mixture or else the muffins may become tough or rubbery.

STEP 4: Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper cups. Evenly distribute the muffin batter between 12 muffin cups. Bake in the preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 20-25 minutes). Remove the muffins from the tin and let cool on a wire rack.


6 flour (or whole wheat) tortillas
2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzerella
pepperoni slices
1 medium bell pepper
1/2 medium red onion
1 can sliced black olives
1 can mushrooms
1 can pizza sauce (or homemade)

STEP 1: Prep the ingredients by thinly slicing the vegetables and draining the olives and mushrooms.

STEP 2: For each pizzadilla: Measure 1/3 cup of shredded cheese. Sprinkle half of the cheese over one half of the tortilla, add toppings and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Fold the empty side of the tortilla over the toppings.

STEP 3: Place the pizzadilla in a prewarmed skillet (medium heat) and cook until brown and crispy on the bottom. Carefully flip the pizzadilla over and cook until brown and crispy on the second side. Once both sides are crisp and the cheese is melted inside, slice into thirds with a pizza cutter. Dip in the pizza sauce prior to eating.

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (or can buy frozen pizza dough balls at grocery store)
1/2 recipe hummus (any flavor)
1 small zucchini
1 small summer squash
1 mushroom
1/2 red onion
1/3 roasted red pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cornmeal

STEP 1: Prepare and knead the pizza dough. Place the ball of dough in a bowl, loosely covered, in a warm place to rise for one hour.

STEP 2: While the pizza dough is rising, make the hummus. Add enough liquid to the hummus so that it is easily spreadable with a spoon. Keep the hummus refrigerated until ready to use.

STEP 3: Wash the vegetables to remove debris. Slice the squash and onion into half inch thick pieces. Place the squash in a bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Preheat a counter top grill (like a george foreman) and then grill the squash for about 5 minutes. Wipe excess oil out of the bowl the portabello cap and onion pieces. Grill them in the same manner as the squash. After the vegetables are grilled, cut into bite sized pieces. Also, cut one of the roasted red peppers from the jar into strips.

STEP 4: Once the dough has risen to about double its original size (about one hour), begin to preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a pizza pan with non-stick spray and a generous sprinkle of cornmeal.

STEP 5: Punch the dough down and, using floured hands, stretch it into a 16 inch circle. Using the back of a spoon, spread about half of the batch of hummus over top of the dough. Top with the grilled vegetables.

STEP 6: Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes or until the outside edges of the crust are golden brown. Cut into 8 pieces and enjoy!

Homemade Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 clove (1/2 Tbsp minced) garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4  1/2 cup water

STEP 1: Drain the chickpeas. Combine all of the ingredients except the water in a food processor or blender. Starting with 1/4 cup of water, puree the ingredients and add more water as needed to keep the contents of the blender churning smoothly. Stop the blender and stir occasionally. The hummus is done when it is smooth and looks slightly whipped. Makes approximately 2.5 cups.

NOTES: You can save the liquid from the can of chickpeas and use that instead of water if desired. I like the light, clean flavor of using fresh water. If you like an extra rich hummus, use more olive oil and less water. If you don't want dragon breath, use minced garlic from a jar instead of fresh. The fresh is very potent.

Southwest Frittata

Whisk 1 egg pluss 2 egg whites in a bowl. add 2 tbsp shredded reduced-fat cheese, 1/3 cup corn (thawed or frozen), 1/3 cup black beans and 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro. Saute 1/4 c chopped red bell pepper and 1/3 cup chopped onion with 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet until veggies are soft, about 3 minutes. Add egg mixture to pan and cover until eggs are set, about 8 minutes. Serve with 1/4 cup salsa.

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4 roma tomatoes
4 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
fresh parsley
2 cups couscous
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and chop the vegetables into large chunks (bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, onion). Peel four cloves of garlic but leave them whole.

STEP 2: Toss the chopped vegetables and garlic with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Spread them out on a baking sheet (or two) so that they are in a single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

STEP 3: Place the vegetables in the oven and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If you have two baking sheets on two different racks in the oven, you'll need to switch them half way through to ensure even cooking.

STEP 4: While the vegetables are roasting, cook the couscous. Bring 3 cups of broth up to a boil (or 3 cups of water + 1 Tbsp bouillion, in my case). Once it reaches a rolling boil, pour in 2 cups of couscous, turn off the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. Let sit, undisturbed, for at least five minutes.

STEP 5: After the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a cutting board and roughly chop. Collect the four garlic cloves and chop them well. They are probably so soft that they'll just smoosh, but that's okay. You just want them to be able to distribute throughout the salad.

STEP 6: Roughly chop about 1/3 bunch of parsley. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Combine the couscous, roasted vegetables, and parsley in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or cold!

Apple Cheddar Melt

Spread half a 3-oz whole wheat bagel with 2 tbsp plain hummus. Top with 3 slices apple and 1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is golden and melted, 1 minute.

Maple Salmon

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 pound salmon

STEP 1: In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.

STEP 2: Place salmon in a shallow baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

STEP 3: Preheat oven to 400 degrees

STEP 4: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes.

Pineapple-Ginger Parfait

Layer 6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (canned in juice, drained), 1 tbsp sliced almonds and 1/4 cup granola. (Pineapple can be replaced with fresh berries)

Balsamic Caprese Panini

French bread
1 roma tomato
1 oz fresh mozzarella
4-5 basil leaves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt& pepper

STEP 1: Wash and slice the tomato. Cut 3-4 thin slices of the mozzarella (about 1 oz. total). Remove the basil leaves from the stem.

STEP 2: Slice the baguette in half and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over the open surfaces. Place the tomato and mozzarella slices on the bread in alternating layers. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

STEP 3: Place the basil leaves on top and either serve cold or place in a countertop grill (like a george foreman) or cook in a skillet until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted.

Balsamic Fries

3 lbs russet potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
fresh parsley
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the potatoes very well so that the skins are clean and edible. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges.

STEP 2: Place the potato wedges in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet (or two) so that they are in one layer (all touching the baking sheet) and have a little space between them. If they are too crowded the moisture from the potatoes will get trapped and steam them as they cook yielding a soggy fry.

STEP 3: Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until they are all brown and crispy on the edges. Check them at 30 minutes and adjust the cooking time to get them to your desired degree of brown-ness (I know, that's not a word).

STEP 4: Place the cooked fries in a bowl and toss with chopped parsley. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar just before serving.

NOTE: This makes a LOT of fries. Luckily, you can easily adjust the recipe to use any amount of potatoes. I had to use two baking sheets to cook these so you may want to use only 2 lbs. of potatoes.